ALEX Lesson Plan


Light Up Your Drawing!

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Daniel Schaeffel
System: Hoover City
School: Hoover City Board Of Education
The event this resource created for:ASTA
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 34537


Light Up Your Drawing!


The students will make a drawing that lights up, while investigating circuits using copper tape, batteries and LEDs. They will use templates for the first circuit and then explore by adding more LEDs and copper tape traces. 

This lesson results from a collaboration between the Alabama State Department of Education and ASTA.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
SC2015 (2015)
Grade: 4
4 ) Design, construct, and test a device that changes energy from one form to another (e.g., electric circuits converting electrical energy into motion, light, or sound energy; a passive solar heater converting light energy into heat energy).*

NAEP Framework
NAEP Statement::
P4.11: Electricity flowing through an electrical circuit produces magnetic effects in the wires. In an electrical circuit containing a battery, a bulb, and a bell, energy from the battery is transferred to the bulb and the bell, which in turn transfer the energy to their surroundings as light, sound, and heat (thermal energy).

NAEP Statement::
P4.7: Heat (thermal energy), electricity, light, and sound are forms of energy.§

NAEP Statement::
P4.8: Heat (thermal energy) results when substances burn, when certain kinds of materials rub against each other, and when electricity flows though wires. Metals are good conductors of heat (thermal energy) and electricity. Increasing the temperature of any substance requires the addition of energy.

Unpacked Content
Scientific And Engineering Practices:
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
Crosscutting Concepts: Energy and Matter
Disciplinary Core Idea: Energy
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
  • Given a problem to solve, students collaboratively design a device that converts energy from one form to another. In the design, students:
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • criteria
  • constraint
  • energy
  • device
  • convert
  • design
  • construct
  • kinetic
  • potential
  • transform
  • evidence
  • engineering design process
  • ask
  • imagine
  • plan
  • create
  • improve
Students know:
  • Energy can be transferred from place to place by electric currents.
Students are able to:
  • Use scientific knowledge to generate design solutions that convert energy from one form to another.
  • Describe the given criteria and constraints of the design, which include the following:
    • The initial and final forms of energy.
    • Describe how the solution functions to transfer energy from one form to another.
  • Evaluate potential solutions in terms of the desired features.
  • Modify the design solutions to make them more effective.
Students understand that:
  • Energy can be transferred in various ways and between objects.
  • Engineers improve existing technologies or develop new ones but are limited by available resources.

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SCI.AAS.4.4- Identify common sources of energy used every day (e.g., electricity, gas, sun).

Local/National Standards:



Primary Learning Objective(s):

The students will build a complete electrical circuit using copper tape, batteries, and LEDs.

The students will be able to draw and label the parts of an electrical circuit.

The students will compare and contrast series and parallel circuits.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

31 to 60 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

For each student:

coin battery (CR2032)

LED's (a few colors)

Copper tape

Circuit templates

Clear tape

Science Notebooks

Construction paper

Technology Resources Needed:



Teachers should build their own circuit on the back of the robot template before beginning the lesson. The robot template is located within the Circuit Template booklet linked in the materials section.

This lesson can be an introduction to closed circuits. Students do not need prior knowledge.

Review the article How do electric circuits work? and Electrical Circuits for Kids  for background information about electric circuits.  



Watch this video of a light up, musical Christmas card

If possible, bring in greeting cards that light up and play music.

After watching the video ask students how the designer of this card made the card light up and play music. Have them record their predictions in their science notebook.

Tell them that today they are going to be exploring electric circuits and pretend they are designers for a card company.


Students will need a copy of the robot template from the Circuit Templates file. As well as the following materials: copper tape, batteries, and LED bulbs.

Show students that the light bulb will light up when you directly touch the bulb to the wires. Let them explore with the light bulbs and battery for a few minutes.

  • Ask the students:
    • How did you get your bulb to light up?
    • Did anyone try to light their bulb and fail?
    • Do you ever need to have the bulb away from the energy source?

Tell students that first we are going to follow a template when creating our electrical circuit, and later they will be the designers.

Display the model you created before the lesson.

Do the following to begin creating the circuit:

  • Press copper tape on the circuit traces.
  • Be sure to leave breaks in the tape for the LED, switch, and battery.
  • When tracing the circuit templates with tape, or creating your own circuit, try to turn corners without cutting the tape.When you need to join pieces of copper tape, be sure that the pieces overlap. Press the pieces firmly with your fingernail to ensure the best connection.

Follow these steps to put a battery in the circuit:

  • To put a battery into a circuit, both sides of the battery need to be a part of the conducting path. To do this, follow these steps:
  • Create a break in the circuit.
  • Place the battery on the copper tape right before the break.(The side of the battery with the words is the positive side).
  • Extend the copper tape from the other side of the break so that it touches the top of the battery.
  • Fold a small part of the end under so the shiny part of the tape shows on both sides. Now both sides of the battery are in the circuit!
  • You can add a piece of transparent tape to reinforce the battery’s connection and to keep it securely in place.

Have students glue their robots in their science notebooks.


After students have made their robots eyes light up, discuss with students the components that make up a complete series circuit. Show the class the examples of a series and parallel circuits and a circuit with a switch.

Discuss the components of a circuit. Make sure students know the difference between conductors and insulators, parts of a circuit, and positivity and negativity.

Read aloud the articles How do electric circuits work? and Electrical Circuits for Kids  with the class.

Students will record new learning and observations in their science notebook.

  • Ask the students:
    • Should the LEDs be connected in series or parallel?
    • Which colors work together? Which colors don’t?
    • Where should the battery go?


Students will use items from the material list to design and construct their own greeting card. Here is a guide for creating the greeting card.

**Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download.

Assessment Strategies


Students will be assessed on their science notebook entries and the attached exit ticket. The notebook and exit ticket should serve as evidence that the students can build a complete electrical circuit using copper tape, batteries, and LEDs, be able to draw and label the parts  of an electrical circuit, and compare and contrast series and parallel circuits.




Students who need extra assistance should be paired with a higher level student for the reading/activity.

View the Special Education resources for instructional guidance in providing modifications and adaptations for students with significant cognitive disabilities who qualify for the Alabama Alternate Assessment.